Last Rites is a 220
pound heavyweight class machine, which started competing in
the very first ComBots Cup event in 2005. This has been a class
dominating machine ever since.
Last Rites is a two-time
ComBots Cup champion, and is always a front runner at any event it
As with any robot that
has been in so many events over such a long period of time, there have
been more than a few changes along the way. In the original build the
drive motors were EV warriors, the weapon motor was an original Etek,
and batteries were all NiCAD. Much has changed over the years :)
The frame of Last Rites,
similar to any of my serious machines, is made from 4130 chrome molly
tubing. I typically use all 1" tubing, but vary the wall thickness
based on what I perceive the stress loads to be in that area. The frame
height here is being created around the weapon motor, an
A completed frame is
around 40 pounds. Using steel makes it easier to repair at an event - I
can just weld up damaged areas or even cut out bent tubing and weld in
new sections. But the violent nature of the sport takes its toll, and I
can usually only get about 2 events on a frame before it is no longer
It's a fairly tight fit
once everything is in place. Drive motors are NPC T-64s and the weapon
motor is an ME0708 (also known as the Etek-R). There are two discrete
power systems, one for drive at 33v and one for weapon at
The weapons themselves vary, depending on how we configure it before
each match. I always have multiple weapon bars to choose from.
The king of kinetic energy is this
bar, a 2024-T651 aluminum alloy bar with 4140 chrome molly teeth
hardened to 48rc. This isn't the heaviest bar, but it is slightly
longer and with the steel teeth out on the end, it has the highest MOI.
An upclose view of the tooth, and its mounting.
Combat ready, Last Rites weighs in at about 218 pounds.
No description of Last Rites would be
complete without some recognition for my biggest fan, Corbin. He
dressed up as Last Rites for halloween, and well his costume is quite
simply the very definition of cool!
And speaking of cool, the fine folks
at the Shelburne Museum had a display on robotics, which they requested
the Last Rites be on display for! This ran for several months, and
apparently was very well received. I sent them some fight footage which
they ran in a loop on the TV overhead.
Last Rites has had multiple different
color schemes over the years. I personally like the red, but the rest
of the team seems to like the blue better, so it will probably be blue
for its next rebuild :)